My Video Game Theory Of Life

Favim.com-34340

In a land far far away from here, one day I decided to go out and buy a video game, a new one called “Earth”…and I am playing it still.

Being a gamer, this is how I view life, as a video game, and the real me is outside of all just playing away.

Because I want to have a good time, and because I wish to win the game, I do my best to abide by the rules and parameters of the game’s Creator. But some of the other players have rebelled against the Creator of the game, thinking that they somehow know of a better way to win the game apart from the Creator, they have cheated and taken shortcuts and developed a different set of rules and parameters that must be adhered to in order to “win” the game…but this “game” within the game doesn’t actually exist, and in reality is a snare used to trap people and keep them from playing the REAL game. Their “game” within the game has wrecked all kinds of havoc and destruction, however the Creator of the game allows this to continue in order to show that the game cannot be played apart from him, there are NO SHORTCUTS…taking a shortcut means you are going to have a bad time playing the game.

Making yourself aware of the instruction manual (A.K.A. “The Bible” = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) and adhering as closely as possible to those instructions is your primary safeguard against falling into this snare.

The majority of these instructions are pretty simple and straightforward:

1. To be successful in this game you must listen to and trust in the game’s Creator, not in the game itself or in other people playing the game with you. Some of these people are real and playing the game for real, just like you are, but others, although looking quite realistic, are simply constructs of the game itself. One of the goals of the game is learning to discern this difference.

2. Do not take the Creator lightly or use him as a means to further your own ends as a “cover” for evil deeds like the rebels do, professing to be all good and holy and righteous while all the while playing their own “game” apart from the Creator’s game. Do not profess to trust in and follow the game’s Creator if you really do not mean it and do not intend to play the game according to his rules and parameters.

3. For the duration that you are inside the game, for every six days that you work you should rest for one day. This does not mean work seven days and never rest or work five days and rest for two days. These instructions are for your own benefit and represent the perfect balance, you’ll work enough to make a decent living so that you may exist somewhat comfortably within the game and that one day of rest will prevent you from getting stressed-out and overtired which can lead to you having a bad time playing the game. I don’t yet know if the ratio works in larger proportions, if resting two days for every twelve days of work or three days for eighteen days of work is just as legitimate, but it’s definitely worth experimenting with I would think.

4. If you wish to stay alive a long time, you will respect and honor the parents through whom you made passage into this game. This doesn’t mean you have to like or even love them, but you should go out of your way to treat them with kindness and consideration and see to it that their basic needs are taken care of as they age and get ready to leave the game.

5. You have NO RIGHT to forcibly remove another player from the game, doing so is an automatic forfeiture of your right to stay in the game. If someone tries to remove you from the game then use your own best judgement as to what you should do. Defending your right to stay in the game is NOT wrong, especially if, at the same time, you are defending other players who have not yet developed the ability to defend themselves, like young children for example. The rebels who are playing the “game” within the game have nothing but pure hatred for those who profess to follow the Creator of the game and strive to adhere to his instruction manual over the rules and parameters of their “game”. If they discover who you are, they WILL seek to forcibly remove you from the game by any means necessary. However, being forcibly removed from the game by a rebel guarantees you an automatic victory especially if you sacrifice your place in the game in order that others might continue playing. If there are no young children or innocent bystanders involved and you are alone then it comes down to a personal decision as to whether you wish to defend your right to stay in the game or receive an automatic victory by allowing yourself to be forcibly removed. No one else can make that decision for you.

6. Do not have sex with anybody or anything other than your own spouse of the opposite gender!!  If you wish to have sex but have no spouse then get married, but ONLY to a human that you are not already related to and ONLY to a human that is of the gender that is opposite your own.  And, no, you cannot legally be married to more than one spouse.  Sex is allowable under these parameters ONLY!!  Sex partaken of under any other set of circumstances, while it might seem like fun for the moment, will lead to certain consequences which will make for a bad time playing the game. These instructions are for your benefit and protection, if you are smart you will not take them lightly!!

7. Do not take or use things that do not belong to you. There are a great many and numerous interactive objects within the game, but using or taking what does not belong to you can anger and enrage other players in the game which means you are going to have a bad time playing the game. The key here is to remember this: If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to somebody else…and nobody wants to be stolen from.

8. Never speak, write, or adhere to that which is not true. Since every single second of playtime within the game is being recorded and constantly reviewed by the Creator of the game, lying is purely pointless and just makes you look retarded. Like I said before, if you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to somebody else…and nobody wants to be lied to.

9. Do not desire to have what other players in the game have and then despise them for it because you do not have it. If you desire a house like theirs, work hard, save up money and buy one. If you desire a car like theirs, work hard, save up money and buy one. If you desire a spouse like theirs, get off your lazy ass and go out into the world and find one or if you are already married work to become a better spouse yourself. If you desire another player’s beauty or intelligence or any other thing over which they have no control, but were gifted them by the Creator of the game, then seek to make the most of the beauty or intelligence or whatever it is that you have been gifted with. You are NOT them and will NEVER BE them and to desire what they have and then despise them for it is purely pointless and just makes you look retarded. Work hard and make the most of who you are and what you have and you will not desire to possess what others have.

10. And last but not least remember that which you give out will return back to you. The Bible calls this “reaping what you sow”. Sow an evil seed and you will reap a full crop of evil. Sow a good seed and you will reap a full crop of goodness. While the “harvest” can, at times, be reaped from within the game, for example sow seeds of procrastination and you will reap a crop of sloth…sow seeds of intemperance and you will reap a crop of gluttony…sow seeds of whining and complaining and you will reap a bitter crop of loneliness and despair etc.   . . . BUT, more often than not, the full “reaping” is held in reserve for the day of judgment, which occurs after the game is over, during which each player’s performance in the game is judged and rewards and penalties are dealt out accordingly. So while looks can be deceiving and for a short time within the game it may look as though evil prospers and good people suffer beware of the fact that it’s just a game and not of a long duration compared to the real reality of eternity where the TRUE repercussions of their actions will be meted out once the game ends.

Some final points of advice:  According to the Creator’s instruction manual, if you wish to get the very most out of your experience while playing the video game called “Earth”, you should get married (see point # 6) and have children, preferably many children.  You should also grow a garden and strive to learn lots of different and varied skills for living off the land and spend lots of time within the main construct of the game, which isn’t the city or town built by other players but the wild or the wilderness, learn how to care for it and protect it and it will take care of you.  I personally find that one of the main challenges of the game is learning to discern lies from truth and nothing is ever as it seems on the surface.  Everything is backwards, almost to the point of ridiculousness…this is due to the twisted perversion of the “game” within the game that the rebels are playing and at this late stage of the game they have successfully deceived the majority of the playing population into believing that their version of the game is real.  If you are playing correctly then most of the time you will find yourself doing the exact opposite of everybody else, save for a select remnant few (you know who you are).  So keep this in mind…to move up you must go down, to be first you must make yourself last, to be scorned is to be exalted, to lose everything is to receive everything, to die is to live, and the truth is simple but more paradoxical than the complexity of their lies.

Method For Making Pea Soup

I harvested all the rest of our green peas yesterday, and made fresh homemade pea soup which we had with dinner last night.  This isn’t really a “recipe” but more of a method that can be applied to small two person batches or large “feed a crowd” batches of pea soup…I don’t suggest canning pea soup, it is best fresh, peas are one thing that I never can in any form, I just don’t think they taste right unless they’re absolutely fresh! :)

peas in pod

peas in pod

First, you pick the peas, feeding the spent pea vines to the goats.  Then, you shell the peas from the pods, feeding the now empty pods to the goats.  Next, you chop up some onion and garlic (preferably homegrown…mine was :D ), I like to use a ratio of 1 medium onion and 1 cloves of garlic for every 1 cup of peas.  Heat up a big pot over medium heat and add some butter or bacon grease, which is what I used.  Saute the onions and garlic in the fat for about 5-7 minutes, stir occasionally.  Add in the garden fresh shelled peas and continue the saute for about 5 more minutes, remember to stir!

bright yellow fat layer on top of homemade chicken broth made from hoemgrown chicken.  this bright yellow fat is indicative of a healthy chicken raised on bugs and green plants...I dare you to find fat like this on a chicken at the store! (hint: you won't find it!)

bright yellow fat layer on top of homemade chicken broth made from homegrown chicken. this bright yellow fat is indicative of a healthy chicken raised on bugs and green plants and is super nutritious and tasty!  …I dare you to find fat like this on a chicken at the store!         (hint: you won’t find it.)

Next, dump some broth into the big pot, just enough to barely cover the peas.  Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, let simmer for anywheres from between 10 to 20 minutes.  I like really fresh green tasting pea soup so I simmer for only about 10 minutes, I don’t suggest cooking longer than 20 minutes though.

just added chicken broth to peas, check out that bright yellow fat melting in the bottom left hand corner

just added chicken broth to peas, check out that bright yellow fat melting in the bottom left hand corner..it lends SO MUCH flavor to the soup! so much so, that soup made without my own homemade homegrown broth just tastes FLAT and BORING to me now..

After everything has cooked to your liking, throw it all in the blender with some mint and chives (also homegrown)..I like a hefty amount of mint, about 30 leaves for each “blender full” of soup.  But don’t be afraid to adjust according to your own tastes.  Other great herbal combinations are parsley and chives OR mint and cilantro

blenderize...in batches if necessary ..

blenderize…in batches if you have to..

Add the pureed pea soup back to the pot and heat over medium-low heat until hot enough to eat, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, serve it up and enjoy!

the finished pea soup

the finished pea soup

 

 

Pregnancy Advice From A MaMa Of Five (soon to be six)

I announced it on facebook, but you readers here may not have seen it, so I’ll announce here as well:  I am currently 14 weeks pregnant with child #6 which means that he/she should make an appearance sometime on or around December 4th!  My youngest son, Samuel, will be 3 years old in a couple of weeks which means that he and this current baby will be about 3 1/2 years apart, which is my largest spacing between children ever.

The morning all day sickness has been worse than what I usually experience, although, in the past 2 weeks or so it has really started to noticeably subside and I am starting to get some of my normal energy back.  I’m usually not one to suffer much during the first trimester, out of all my children this has definitely been the worst..with the second worst occurring during my pregnancy with my only daughter, Charity, who will 4 years old in a couple of weeks.  Which makes me think that 1.) it is another baby girl  OR  2.) I’m getting too old for this shit! lol  I turned 31 almost a month ago, all of my other pregnancies occurred between the ages of 19 and 28..this is the first pregnancy of my 30′s and it has not been a pleasant one thus far.

Seriously, if you are young married woman reading this, my first bit of advice to you is to have your babies as early as possible when your body is young and strong and able to handle it with enthusiasm!  Biologically speaking, your optimal years of fertility are between the ages of 18 and 25.  I had practically ZERO morning sickness with my first three children and my third child was born when I was 24 years old, but, since then, it seems like it has gotten progressively worse with each new pregnancy…pregnancy number four being slightly worse than pregnancy number five and this pregnancy, thus far, being the absolute worst.

I cannot stomach a large meal, have not been able to since about week six of this pregnancy.  I eat many small protein rich “snack-size” meals throughout the day, the moment I feel hungry, and that seems to help immensely.  Things are getting better though, last night I actually managed to eat the whole burger for dinner along with an O’Doul’s Amber non-alcoholic beer (which, surprisingly, wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be)  Usually, with a food like that, I would have to cut it in half and eat the other half 2-3 hours later…if I ate the whole thing I would usually feel nauseated for at least an hour afterward, sometimes longer.  But then, if I allow myself to get too hungry I also feel nauseated, even after I eventually do eat.  Altoids, with their copious amounts of natural peppermint oil usually help in taking the edge off the nausea though…so does candied ginger.  Also fresh pineapple and baked sweet potatoes swimming in butter seem to really agree with me.. However, plain whole milk yogurt, hardboiled eggs, or bits of whole milk mozzarella cheese have been my main “go-to” snacks as they are pretty bland and very easy to just grab and munch without much fuss (and with 5 kiddos to care for I require easy snacks!) but like I said, things are starting to get gradually better thank you God!

I am, of course, religiously drinking my red raspberry leaf infusions (1 oz. dried herb with 4 cups boiling water poured over it and allowed to steep for at least 4 hours, strain then drink.)  I found a really good deal on Amazon Prime for organic red raspberry leaf by the pound and also taking my cod liver oil but I have to divide the dose into thirds and take 1 tsp. after my first feeding of the day and then another teaspoon after a mid-day feeding and then another teaspoon right before bed, all totaling up to the required 1 tbsp. a day.  Sometimes I take a bit of raw apple cider vinegar mixed in a little bit of water before taking my cod liver oil, the vinegar increases the acidity of my stomach thereby helping in the digestion of the cod liver oil, or at least that is the theory.  I notice that when I do take the vinegar though I have less “after burps” containing essence of fishiness. (yuck)

Naturally, I have been more tired than normal, I have NEVER been one to take naps but lately I find myself taking a little rest around 3 or 4pm.  Mostly I just lay on the couch and play a video game or watch a movie with the kids (with the two toddlers climbing all over me, of course lol) for an hour or so..sometimes I fall asleep, mostly I don’t, but when I get up I feel refreshed and hungry.  Then we grab a snack and go outside and play in the garden.  The fresh air combined with the feel of soft dirt and cool plants always works wonders on my spirit, I’ve even been getting up close to 7am on most days now (usually awakened by hunger, which I would, under normal circumstances, usually ignore and go back to sleep…buuuut, like I said, with this pregnancy, doing that just makes me feel worse so now I force myself to get up and eat something..).  I usually go outside and putter about in the garden until the rest of the household wakes up around 8:30am.  I just love being out there in the quiet stillness with the pale light of dawn and the slight bit of fog still clinging low to the hollow in which we live, everything sparkling with dew as the sun rises over the ridge and light pours down through the trees setting all the garden to a brilliant diamond-like blaze (sorta like the hide of a twilight vampire lol :roll: )..it is at that precise moment that I feel most at peace :)

I have cut back on a lot of things though, after nearly 3 years of milking I have finally dried off my goats in preparation for breeding them this Fall..which is one less thing I need to do and has freed up at least ninety minutes in my schedule…plus the two older boys, who are 11 and 9, have really started to pitch in and do more around the house, partly to help me as they always see how tired I am and partly because a lot of the new chores are just plain fun!  They especially like making their own eggs and toast for breakfast, or popping popcorn for a snack or for after dinner (in a popcorn popper, on the stove, we don’t own a microwave..) and they like to compete with each other on who can carry and stack the most firewood, they even enjoy watering the garden believe it or not! lol

So, all in all, my advice for pregnancy would be this:

1.)  Try to have most of your babies between the ages of 18 and 25…of course, get married FIRST!

2.)  If you are nauseated, eat small protein rich snacks often and don’t let yourself get too hungry.  Stay away from white sugar and white flour products which will cause abnormal spikes in your blood sugar and just make you feel worse and more tired.

3.)  If you’re tired, rest. (PERIOD)

4.)  Do things that help you to feel peaceful and calm, and ask for help if you need it.  Seriously, NO ONE expects you to be Wonder Woman!

5.)  Don’t forget about nutrition!  Good nutrition is the most important aspect of a healthy pregnancy!  The higher quality your nutrition the more likely that your pregnancy will progress normally!

Check out my blog post: My Diet For Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Three Food Items I Never Buy (And Why)

In June of 2001, when I graduated from high school at the age of 18, I weighed around 220 pounds, a size 16/18. In the six months following graduation I lost 60 pounds adhering to the “low carb” method of weightloss. I was first introduced to this way of eating by Suzanne Somers in her book “Get Skinny On Fabulous Food” I then went on to read her earlier books and her books that came out later on, my favorite being “Eat, Cheat, And Melt The Fat Away” published in 2003 (I found all of these books at the library btw).  Her books contain well written, easy to understand explanations as to why sugar is bad for you, fats and protein are good and why the key to good health lies in keeping your blood sugar under control.

This is KEY because when your blood sugar is very high from eating simple carbs like white flour and white sugar products (and even complex carbs like whole grains, or “healthy cereals”..more about that later..) your body secretes insulin, which is a hormone, that brings your sugar levels back down to a normal level by turning excess sugar into fat…but if all you eat is carbs then your insulin levels become chronically high which throws all your other hormones outta whack making it almost impossible to lose weight.  Besides which, fat and cholesterol are NECESSARY for hormone production.  But I digress…it was this way of eating combined with daily 1 hour walks and weekly 7 mile hikes at the state park (usually on Saturday mornings) that helped me to lose 60 pounds in 6 months.

Fast forward into the future, 12 years and 5 children later, and I have still managed to keep 40 of that 60 pounds off because what I did wasn’t “just a diet” it was a complete changing of the way that I eat. Even now I eat roughly 150 carbs a day on average, primarily from vegetables and fruit, while the average American consumes close to 500 carbs a day, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup derived from GMO corn.

But my interest in nutrition and health didn’t just stop with weightloss, I became deeply intrigued by “high protein, high fat” diets. I went on to read a couple of books by Dr. Diana Schwarzbein (whom Suzanne Somers recommended in her books) along with several of Dr. Atkins books and another book called “Life Without Bread” which I also found at the library and that book eventually led me to finding the cookbook/nutrition textbook “Nourishing Traditions” in 2004 and the rest, as they say, is history :grin:

Two other books that I read a few years ago that I also recommend are Homo Optimus about Dr. Jan Kwasniewski’s Optimal Diet for humans which you can get for FREE online, just click the link!  And the book “Good Calories, Bad Calories” By: Gary Taubes (which I also got from the library..shoot, I rarely ever buy books lol..)..

So, based upon my knowledge of health and nutrition, here are the 3 food items I never buy and why:

1. Dry Boxed Cereal – Far too expensive, full of sugar, and not AT ALL healthy in any way, shape or form. It’s basically a bowl of sugar topped with milk flavored water (skim milk) or, heaven forbid, SOY MILK, and all in the name of “healthy eating” :lol:  I have not eaten dry boxed cereal in over 5 years, my three year old and two year old toddlers have NEVER eaten it.  Going back further than five years I still only bought it very occasionally, usually organic cereal like Cascadian Farms brand that I would buy on clearance for 75-99 cents a box from my local closeout stores, Big Lots and Ollie’s.  I still find these deals from time to time, but I no longer waste my money on them, it’s just not worth it.

In order to create all those little puffy crunchy shapes the grains used, whether it be wheat, oats, corn or rice, go through a high heat and high pressure extrusion process where the grain is ground into a slurrie (like a batter) and then have hot air blown into them to “puff” them out.  Plus, the grains themselves, before ever going trough their high heat high pressure extrusion process are questionably healthy at best.    

A little known fact about grains: wheat, rice, oats, beans they are a SEED.  This is SO important!!

Another little known fact, SEEDS are the baby form of a plant.  The whole goal and purpose in life for a seed is to find it’s ideal growing conditions…warm temperatures, lots of water along a beach with a pina colada in hand….no wait, that’s MY ideal growing conditions!  ;-)

But seriously, a seed’s sole purpose is to sprout and grow into a plant and in order to do this the seed has certain protective mechanisms, namely certain enzymes whose function is to protect the seed…the main one is called “phytic acid”.  In the wild, the seed would have matured on the stalk and then be eaten, plant and all, by some type of herbivorous creature with some chewing involved, but usually swallowed whole, especially in the case of birds.  And the phytic acid, which is the seed’s protective barrier, would neutralize the digestive enzymes so that the seed couldn’t be digested in hopes that when it came out the “tail end” later on it would be resting in a good place to sprout, with it’s own special “compost” encasing it.   Each and every creature, especially birds, spreads around seeds in this way.

In the case of most herbivorous creatures, those who live solely on plant matter, this isn’t a problem because they usually have at least 3 or 4 stomachs with one stomach, called the “rumen”, acting as a large fermentation vessel.  This process of fermentation neutralizes the “protective mechanism” of the seed, thereby making all the nutrients in the seed fully available for absorption by the body.

BUT if you’re a human and you aren’t fortunate enough to have your own built in “fermentation vessel” the phytic acid itself can cause problems in the body, weakening the power of the digestive juices and enzymes which leads to a WHOLE host of other problems which occurs when our food isn’t digested properly, most of the diseases of “modern man” find their root here. Without neutralizing the phytic acid through fermentation the nutrients remain bound up in the seed for the purpose of feeding the young plant once the seed sprouts…therefore the germination process, soaking the seed in water until it sprouts, also neutralizes the phytic acid.

Instead of cereal we eat EGGS from our own hens, and sausage and bacon, oftentimes during the growing season they are combined with homegrown veggies like fried taters OR tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, zucchini, or yellow summer squash.  My favorite breakfast has been and always will be scrambled eggs topped with homemade garden fresh salsa and homemade homegrown goat cheese!  We also eat oats in it’s various fermented ways, check out my blog post “Oats: 3 Ways”

2.  Commercial bottled salad dressing – We’ve all done it, set up a mound of nice greens, my favorite being homegrown baby spinach…add toppings like onion, bell peppers, thinly sliced carrots, raw broccoli, some chopped hard boiled egg a bit of shredded cheese and then we DROWN IT ALL in GOBS of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing or Kraft Roka Bleu Cheese dressing and we call that healthy eating! :lol:  And, while it may be low carb in nature, that dressing is anything but healthy!  Practically ALL commercial bottled salad dressings (with a few exceptions here and there, usually found in the natural/organic food aisle) contain soybean oil, a polyunsaturated oil, which is a MAN MADE fat.  You take somethings like genetically modified corn or soybeans or rapeseeds and put it through an intensive multi-step industrial process to extract the oils.  These oils are NOT naturally occurring God given fats and they are THE WORST thing you can put into your body!

graphic depicting the multi-step industrial process used to create vegetable oil, and remember the oil is heated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit during this process which is why deodorizing is the final step, so that you can't taste that it's rancid...ewwwwwww

graphic depicting the multi-step industrial process used to create vegetable oil whether it be soybean, corn, canola or safflower oil…the oil is heated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit during this process which is why deodorizing is the final step, so that you can’t taste that it’s rancid…ewwwwwww

Instead of relying on over priced unhealthy bottled salad dressing I prefer instead to dress the majority of my salads with moist grey sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a few dashes of first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar.  Occasionally I will make a creamy “ranch style” dressing usually involving a mixture of homemade mayo and sour cream with an extra egg yolk and some garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper, fresh cut herbs from the garden (summer savory and cilantro are my fav!) thinned out with a bit of milk if necessary.  I don’t usually have the time or inclination but if you do a search on the internet you can find all kinds of really wonderful salad dressing recipes, no need to waste money on the nasty bottled stuff  *GAG*.  To learn more check out my blog post: “Let’s Chew The Fat”

3.  Store bought bread or other flour products – I admit, I eat seasonally…meaning I eat veggies, mostly from our garden or the farmer’s market, as they are in season.  But in winter there is very little in season and the grocery store offerings usually leave much to be desired and so I do bake bread.  I don’t BUY bread, I make it myself, pretty much only in the winter, especially this last winter when we were getting lows down to -10F …you just want some bread with a nice thick stew, something to really stick to the ribs and keep you warm, ya know what I mean?  However I do NOT buy bread, have not bought bread in YEARS (unless you count the occasional few times when I have bought hot dog or hamburger buns for cookouts with family or friend visitors in attendance and what-not, but that’s only been a few times..).  I LOVE to bake, and if I am going to eat a flour product like bread or cakes or cookies, I make myself work for it.  I NEVER buy these items already made.  Albeit we don’t eat these things very often….a cake at birthday times, bread once a week in winter, sometimes I will make a special dessert like, for example, in about a month I’ll be making a sponge cake with fresh strawberries from the garden once they are ripe …things like that.  My favorite bread recipes to make are classic french bread, rich delicious eggy challah, and ciabatta bread.  I do eat whole foods, low carb, primal, paleo whatever “name” ya wanna give it, but I see no issue with indulging in special dishes even if they may have white flour or white sugar because I do these things only very occasionally and then I get right back to my regular way of eating and usually with a renewed sense of gratefulness for the normal way that I do eat ’cause those sugar crashes are a BITCH! :lol:

Egg Salad Spinach “Wraps”

DSCN1107

Our hens are currently producing 18-22 eggs a day right now and the majority of those get hardboiled and made into either pickled eggs or this delicious egg salad which we eat for lunch almost everyday.  We’ve also got plenty of spinach which we planted last fall and overwintered.  We were lucky that it survived the -10F temperatures that we had more than a few times this past winter!  It’s already growing prolifically and we have been eating spinach salads a couple times a week since April 1st and I love using the larger leaves to make these egg salad “wraps”.

Basic Egg Salad (I make a HUGE BATCH of this 2-3 times a week and just keep it in the fridge to munch on..)

  • 12 hardboiled eggs, very finely chopped …click here to learn how I make hardboiled eggs from fresh eggs
  • 1 LARGE onion, very finely chopped
  •  4-5 stalks of celery, very finely chopped
  • about 1/4 cup homemade mayo, more or less….click here for my recipe
  • a few tablespoons of relish, Famous Dave’s Signature Spicy Pickle Relish is my favorite!
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Chop everything up, mix it all together, place on spinach leaves..I also garnished with a few squirts of homegrown homemade hot sauce and a few dashes of our homegrown homemade dry aged paprika powder!  To eat it, just pick it up kind of pinch-folded sorta like a taco and chow down :D

 

Spinachplots

our happy spinach plots

The Jist of IT

ch6-4horsemen_pastorpack_small

There is a pattern to the rise and fall of civilizations.  Those that are meant to be great begin first with immense freedom and the foundation of hard physical work that maintains that freedom, this produces great wealth and abundance which always leads to decadence and corruption, some civilizations get there faster than others, but the result is always the same.  This decadence and corruption leads to increased tyranny over a people that are, at their basic heart lazy, doubleminded, and self-serving…duplicitous liars desiring to “have their cake and eat it too.”

This is only natural, if a people have lost their ability to rule themselves in a moral and ethical way then they, by default, require a tyrant to rule over them.  The chosen tyrant is always a reflection of the people, if society has abandoned it’s work ethic and moral acuity, the proper foundation of all great societies, and at it’s core has become decayed and rotten, then the tyrant that rules over them will be of the same.  You get what you give, you reap what you sow.  What happens in each personal life, every decision made by each individual is reflected as a whole in the society in which that person lives. This works for good decisions as well as bad, you can change society just by choosing to do the right thing!

  “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken into the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

-Luke 12:2-3

Amidst this corruption and decay, God always reserves for Himself a Remnant.  This Remnant, in growing degrees that correlates with the rising tide of corruption and depravity stands resolute and unflinching against the flood of evil that encompasses it on all sides and from the heart of this Remnant he raises up for Himself a Standard.  The Standard being the judgement against them, showing them the example of what they could have been had they chosen to do things the right way, His Way.

 “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.
And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries and recompence to his enemies..
So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.”  -Isaiah 59:14-21

Once this Standard is risen up it almost always signals the start of the countdown to the end for that civilization, very rarely do they cease and desist from their wicked ways and turn back back the tide of evil.  Even those that are “on the fence” because of the pride, envy, jealousy in their hearts at seeing the example/judgement of The Standard, they turn against The Remnant out of spite because pride won’t let them admit that they were incorrect, that they made the wrong choice…they refuse to repent.

  “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”         -Revelation 3:15-17

This is the purpose of The Standard, to force the undecided to choose and, more often than not, they quite naturally choose the wide and easy straight path to destruction (no surprise there). Becoming ever more entrenched and obstinate in their wrong-doing (the Bible calls this being “stiffnecked”), creating an ever-consuming  divide between themselves and the Remnant that soon reaches a point where it can no longer be reconciled, and thus begins war.

The warfare that was already raging in the spiritual between the forces of good and evil manifests into the physical world because faith, whether faith in God or faith in this evil world system run by Satan, by it’s very definition requires action.  The Remnant Standard-bearer ever increasing in light in-step with the ever increasing darkness becomes so bright that the debased and depraved society surrounding it can no longer withstand that brightness, their eyes burning and their faces reddened, they seek with an incessant hunger to destroy all those that bear the light of God within their souls.  And as all wars go this eventually leads to economic hardship/collapse and ruination of the land and infrastructure which then leads to famine and disease which leads to MASS DEATH and once the dust settles The Remnant begins the rebuild and the cycle begins anew.

 …”BUT before all this, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And shall turn to you for a testimony.
Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
In your patience possess ye your souls.” - Luke 21:12-19

When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

What It Means To Be A Living Sacrifice

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:1-2

Being a homesteader there have been more than a few times that I have come across people in my daily living who, when they find out about the kind of life that I lead, often say something along the lines of “Wow, you’re living my dream!”  OR “I always wanted to live a life like that but….” and then they proceed to give me any number of excuses as to why it never happened…and the conversation often ends there ’cause I don’t wanna hear excuses…nothing annoys me more than excuses or complaining! :roll:

The real reason that most of the people who express this “dream” of living in the country never make it a reality is because they are not willing to sacrifice what they have right now to receive something that they want more…in other words, they just don’t want it bad enough.   And in the process are simply lying to themselves and to me when they say “Wow, you’re living my dream!” …if it really was your dream then it would be your reality, it’s as simple as that :grin:

When Nathan and I were dating we came down to West Virginia to visit a friend of his that lived here, that was the first time I had ever been here and I immediately fell in love with the area.  Nathan, who had been here numerous times before, already loved the area and had expressed his desire to eventually move here one day.  Fast forward 3 months into the future, we were newly married one month and had just found out we were pregnant with our first child which gave us a three year time limit to fulfill our dream of moving to West Virginia…our reasoning being that most children do not remember things that happen from before the age of three and we didn’t want our son to remember Maryland at all :lol:

First thing we did was pay off the $5,000 in school debt that Nathan still had, our goal was to have it paid off before our son was born and we exceeded that goal by paying it off a whole month before his birth.  And we have not ever had any debt again, even to this very day!  After we paid it off I quit work and prepared for my new job, that of being a stay at home mom.

Our society is not one that favors single income households so I have always fully realized the precariousness of my situation, I don’t just STAY at home I work my ASS OFF at home….it was no different when we still lived in Maryland in a tiny apartment paying $600/mo. rent on a $10 an hour income, which was what Nathan made working at McDonald’s at the time.  During the time that we were saving money to move to West Virginia we rarely spent money (and that is key!) except for on the absolute necessities…rent, water, electric, food, transportation, laundry (we didn’t have a washer and dryer but our apartment complex had a small laundrymat that you had to pay to use), and internet in that order. (we didn’t have a phone, no need when you’ve got e-mail…we also didn’t have cable TV…)

The first thing we did was sell one of our cars, we each had our own car when we got married but went down to just one to save money….those insurance costs can really eat up the income! The car we kept was used mainly for Nathan to drive to work for the most part…regular errands like grocery shopping were done by me while Nathan was at work…a five minute shortcut through the woods next to our apartment complex put me right at the back lot of our local grocery store, I would strap our son into the baby carrier and we were off!   Because we were poor, and not too prideful to admit it, we did seek government assistance in the form of WIC (however we have never had food stamps or been on welfare and got off WIC the moment we moved to West Virginia) which gave LARGE amounts of free food to breastfeeding mothers….eggs, milk, cheese, beans, boxed cereal, peanut butter, tuna etc.   PLUS Nathan worked at a restaurant, he was an opener which meant he had to be there at 4:00 a.m. but that worked out well because it also meant that 5 days out of the week he got two free meals a day…breakfast and lunch he always ate at work.

Plus, I was an extreme couponer long before there was a TV show.  I only had one child at the time with PLENTY of extra time for things like coupon clipping and matching them with the sales and store coupons to save obscene amounts of money.  My best ever was getting $88.00 worth of groceries for about ten bucks…but on average I almost always saved at least 60% and often times much more than that.  We obsessively budgeted our money, and I was allotted only $25 a week for groceries but it was always more than enough! ($6 of that $25 was also spent on diapers, we didn’t do cloth diapers till child #2 came along..)

During the time that we were saving money to move to West Virginia we never ate out (except for the free meals Nathan got from work), we never spent money on entertainment…no movie theater, no movie or video game buying/rentals (however we did go to the movies once on our anniversary and we budgeted for it three months in advance lol), no buying books, toys, gadgets or other frivolous things.  Entertainment for us was getting books and movies for free from the library and we went fishing a lot, and if we were successful, and we often were, it also meant a free meal!

We didn’t buy new clothes or bunches of stuff  for our apartment.  We had one sofa that we bought for $50 from the thrift store and a small desk for Nathan’s computer which we paid $20 for from the same thrift store.  We were fortunate that my parents had extra furniture which they gave to us and Nathan’s mom also purchased a bunch of home goods for us as a wedding gift when we first got married.  Our wedding cost us a total of $80 by the way, you can read about that here.  We also did dumpster diving, our apartment complex always had people constantly moving in and out and most of the time they would take a good chunk of their furniture and just dump it right beside the dumpster…we got everything from free lamps, end tables, coffee tables, bookshelves, a free desk, a very nice piano keyboard, fans, dishes, pots and pan,  and more…plus we still have most of that stuff! :lol:

The apartment complex that we lived at, Forsythia Court Apartments you can even visit their website, had single story apartments with small patios and a postage stamp sized patch of grass.  We dug up our patch of grass and turned it into a garden, and we kept the land lady and her secretary well supplied with garden fresh tomatoes so they didn’t mind at all ;-)  You can read more about that in my post “Homestead Economics“.  So, for part of the year, we didn’t even need to buy fresh vegetables, saving us even more money on the grocery bill!

Eventually we moved from the apartment complex and sacrificed having a garden for cheaper rent and a larger apartment.  A very kind older Christian lady rented us a 1,000 sq.ft. 2 bedroom apartment in Havre De Grace for only $585 a month and that included the price of electricity and water, plus it came with a washer and dryer!   We only lived there for a year though, 6 months after our second son was born, when our first son was 2 1/2 years old, we found on the internet a 2,000 sq.ft. “fixer upper” on 1/4 acre of land in West Virginia for only $5,000 and we jumped on it.  We traveled down to look at it one weekend and the very next weekend we went back and bought it in full with cash, after spending a month cleaning and fixing it up we moved down there and we still own that place as well as our current place with 9 acres of land.  No longer having a rent payment meant that we could live off of even less money than before which gave Nathan the freedom to now stay at home and start up our E-Bay business which eventually became quite successful.  So successful that in a matter of four years we were able to save up enough money to buy our current place debt free :D

I tell you ALL of this to show that in order to achieve your “dream” you must be willing to sacrifice.  People seldom achieve their “dream” of living in the country because they are not willing to work hard and make sacrifices of what they have in the present in order to possess something greater in the future…this is what Paul means by becoming a living sacrifice.  Nothing is off limits, everything is used as a means by which you can achieve your “dream”.  Our living sacrifice transformed us into what we are now, nothing is ever achieved for free or by “faith”…faith by it’s very definition requires action..  you may have faith and I have works, show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works (James 2:18).  It is not an easy road, that is for sure, but is anything worth having ever easy??